• Author In Chief

Author In Chief

Author In Chief

( from 2 reviews )
  • Author
    Craig Fehrman
  • Publisher
    Avid Reader Press Simon Schuster
  • Publication date
    11 February 2020

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Book Description

“One of the best books on the American presidency to appear in recent years.” —Thomas Mallon, The Wall Street Journal

“Fun and fascinating…It’s witty, charming, and fantastically learned. I loved it.” —Rick Perlstein

Based on a decade of research and reporting, Author in Chief tells the story of America’s presidents as authors—and offers a delightful new window into the public and private lives of our highest leaders.

Most Americans are familiar with Abraham Lincoln’s famous words in the Gettysburg Address and the Eman­cipation Proclamation. Yet few can name the work that helped him win the presidency: his published collection of speeches entitled Political Debates between Hon. Abraham Lincoln and Hon. Stephen A. Douglas. Lincoln labored in secret to get his book ready for the 1860 election, tracking down newspaper transcripts, editing them carefully for fairness, and hunting for a printer who would meet his specifications. Political Debates sold fifty thousand copies—the rough equivalent of half a million books in today’s market—and it reveals something about Lincoln’s presidential ambitions. But it also reveals something about his heart and mind. When voters asked about his beliefs, Lincoln liked to point them to his book.

In Craig Fehrman’s groundbreaking work of history, Author in Chief, the story of America’s presidents and their books opens a rich new window into presidential biography. From volumes lost to history—Calvin Coolidge’s Autobiography, which was one of the most widely discussed titles of 1929—to ones we know and love—Barack Obama’s Dreams from My Father, which was very nearly never published—Fehrman unearths countless insights about the presidents through their literary works.

Presidential books have made an enormous impact on American history, catapulting their authors to the national stage and even turning key elections. Beginning with Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on the State of Virginia, the first presidential book to influence a campaign, and John Adams’s Autobiography, the first score-settling presiden­tial memoir, Author in Chief draws on newly uncovered information—including never-before-published letters from Andrew Jackson, John F. Kennedy, and Ronald Reagan—to cast fresh light on the private drives and self-doubts that fueled our nation’s leaders.

We see Teddy Roosevelt as a vulnerable first-time author, struggling to write the book that would become a classic of American history. We see Reagan painstakingly revising Where’s the Rest of Me?, a forgotten memoir in which he sharpened his sunny political image. We see Donald Trump negotiating the deal for The Art of the Deal, the volume that made him synonymous with business savvy. Alongside each of these authors, we also glimpse the everyday Americans who read them.

Combining the narrative felicity of a journalist with the rigorous scholarship of a historian, Fehrman delivers a feast for history lovers, book lovers, and everybody curious about a behind-the-scenes look at our presidents.

Book Detail

  • Book Title

    Author In Chief

  • Author

    Craig Fehrman

  • Date Published

    11 February 2020

  • Publisher

    Avid Reader Press Simon Schuster

  • Pages

    448 pages

  • ISBN

    9781476786391

Book Reviews

  • User294785

    4.5 starsThanks to EUROBOOK and my winning this book, I was able to get an advanced look into Craig Fehrman's newest book Author In Chief. Having been very much spooked by his Author In Chief, I was quite happy to once again enter the world of "spookdom" and read this story. Teenagers are quite impressionable. They often believe a lot of things and try to grab onto concepts and ideas that at times seems quite out of the norm. They often make ready partners, easily led, and make decisions that oftenti.

  • User392855

    A short but w lovely book for fans of both authors, but also a lot of insight into freedom of speach, creativity and the importance of libraries. Some words to take to heart, some words to live by, some words to get (more) liberated in the pursuit of artistic endeavours. Definitely a good thing to read. You don't know it yet, but it's likely you need this book.

  • User345211

    I'm pretty sure Craig Fehrman books just exist to capture and devour your entire SOUL AND IMAGINATION. I just went on such a wild adventure omg, I feel actually drained. Like this duology has totally filled my creative well. I am heart eyes and my heart so so full and !!!! my emotions are just !!! which is exactly how a professionally reviewer would summarise a book.

  • User95812

    I know a lot of us were expecting Author In Chief to be good, but I have to say, this book actually exceeded my expectations. I have a lump in my throat and I can't stop thinking about it. I usually spend time making detailed notes while reading a book but, at one point, I opened Notes on my computer just to type "oh fucking god, this is so good".

  • User192812

    DANG THIS BOOK IS GOOD. Full review coming, just need to collect my thoughts. I LOVED this - absolutely worth adding to your summer TBR!!.

  • Mary

    not going to lie, i'm feeling PRETTY special for receiving an advance copy of this(okay yes i haven't read Author In Chief but still)

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